Singapore rises to third place in annual ranking of least corrupt countries

SINGAPORE – Singapore has moved up three notches to third spot in an annual ranking of countries deemed to have the least corruption in the public sector, with Denmark and New Zealand ahead of it. The Republic scored 85 on graft watchdog Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, which uses a scale that goes from zero, for highly corrupt, to 100, for very clean. The index released on Tuesday (Jan 29) also shows that, globally, most countries continue to fail in reining in corruption significantly, said Berlin-based Transparency International. Similar to…

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Singapore 

Singapore bicentennial: Why 2019 is history in the making

200 years after getting colonised On Dec. 31, 2017, PM Lee announced the government’s intent in 2019 to commemorate the bicentennial — meaning, 200 years anniversary — of Sir Stamford Raffles’ founding. Rather than being a celebration, however, the bicentennial is meant to be a reflection on Singapore’s journey so far. The year 1819 is widely accepted as when modern Singapore was founded by Raffles. However, Singapore already had a thriving population 500 years prior to 1819, as these formative years lend context to our formation. What events can we expect? The…

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News Thailand 

Thailand to hold general election on March 24

BANGKOK – Thailand’s much delayed general election will be held on March 24, with a new government expected to be in place “by the middle of the year”. The confirmation by Thailand’s Election Commission was announced on Wednesday (Jan 23) afternoon, hours after a royal decree declaring an election was released. The upcoming election will end military rule that has been in place since 2014, when then army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha led a coup that toppled the Pheu Thai Party-led government and took over as premier. A new Constitution enacted in 2017 allows the interim premier…

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Singapore wildlife 

Jurong Bird Park is first wildlife park to successfully breed endangered Solomon Islands bird

SINGAPORE – Four baby Santa Cruz ground doves were born at Jurong Bird Park in recent weeks, making the park the first zoological institution in the world to successfully breed the highly threatened bird species under human care. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 23) that the first of the Santa Cruz ground dove chicks hatched on Dec 31 last year. The bird is listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. In August last year, 60 of them –…

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News Singapore 

Singapore retains top spot in Asia Pacific index for talent competitiveness

SINGAPORE-Singapore has topped the Global Talent Competitiveness Index in Asia-Pacific for the sixth straight year, coming second in the global rankings behind Switzerland and ahead of the United States, which was third. Released on Monday (Jan 21) in Davos, ahead of the World Economic Forum, the yearly index measures how 125 countries are able to attract, nurture and retain talented people, and was compiled by French business school Insead in partnership with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications. In the same index for cities, Singapore ranked 17th. Singapore’s stellar ranking…

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News Singapore 

Motorcyclist taken to hospital after getting hit by car and run over by van on AYE

SINGAPORE – A 29-year-old motorcyclist was taken to hospital after she was run over by a van on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Thursday (Jan 17). Footage of the incident shows a car colliding with the motorcycle on the rightmost lane of the expressway, apparently while trying to change lanes. The motorcyclist is knocked off her bike, which skids across three lanes. The impact also sends her sprawling into the path of a van, which appears to have swerved to avoid the car. Unable to stop in time, the…

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Singapore 

CES 2019: Singapore products flying the flag in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS – On the show floors of CES 2019, there are some Singapore tech products (other than Creative) that caught our eyes. Here are five of them. AIRESONE JUNIOR US$199 (or $269), available June 2019 AirSone Junior is a smart wearable for tracking children’s vitals during their sleep. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN PHOTO: TWITTER As it name implies, the AireSone Junior is a smart wearable meant for children aged three and above. Making its debut in CES 2019, the AireSone Junior tracks the breathing, heart rate and coughing during…

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Maylasia 

Pahang regent likely to succeed ailing sultan, paving way for ascension to Malaysia throne

KUALA LUMPUR – The Pahang royal household will meet this week to discuss the possibility of the regent of Pahang succeeding the state’s ailing sultan, which would pave the way for the regent to become Malaysia’s 16th King, the New Straits Times reported on Wednesday (Jan 9). The report, which cites a royal source, came as Malaysia seeks to elect a new monarch after the abrupt resignation of the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, as the 15th King or Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Sunday. Under Malaysia’s unique five-year rotation system involving…

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Government to run ElderShield from 2021, taking over from three private insurers

SINGAPORE – The Government will run ElderShield from 2021 after reaching an agreement with Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income, the private insurers currently administering the insurance scheme for people with severe disabilities. In a statement on Monday (Jan 7), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the Government will operate the scheme on a not-for-profit basis. “In the event that the actual claims experience turns out better than expected, there will continue to be premium rebates for ElderShield policyholders.” With the change, MOH said ElderShield policyholders will be able…

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News 

Poorer households use more water to beat heat while richer ones turn up air-con, study finds

SINGAPORE – When temperatures rise, lower-income households here use more water whereas higher-income households consume more electricity, a local study has found. The study tracked the water and electricity bills of about 130,000 households staying in apartments from September 2012 to December 2015. It found that with a 1 deg C increase in temperature, the average household living in a two-room apartment increases water use by 9 litres per day. At the time of the study, less than a fifth of two-room apartments had air-conditioning. In contrast, heat induces larger…

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